The 30-60-90 Maintenance Schedule

Car maintenance can be intimidating if you’re new to it, or have a vehicle you’re unfamiliar with. It’s hard to know what to look out for when without the years of experience or the right guide. Luckily, we’re here to help you stay on track! 

What does 30-60-90 mean?

The 30-60-90 schedule refers to the mileage when certain maintenance needs should be taken care of. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but is a great starting point for anyone unsure about when to tackle certain tasks so they don’t turn into expensive repairs.

The 30s

Before you get into the 30,000 mile range on your vehicle, there are two main parts you should have inspected and replaced if necessary. Your air and fuel filter are some of your best defenses against the environmental conditions around your vehicle. 

  • Clogged air filters mean your engine can start to choke up when it doesn’t get proper airflow. 

  • A bad fuel filter can stop your car from running at all. If you take your vehicle through particularly dusty environments, these will need to be changed sooner.

The 60s

Between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, there is a lot that you should be taking care of for your vehicle. Batteries, your brake system, coolant, and transmission fluids should all be looked at during this time. 

  • Batteries aren’t affected by mileage, but their lifetime usually wears out in this range in a car’s life. 

  • Brake fluid is incredibly important to replace, as not maintaining it can lead to poor brake responsiveness. 

  • Brake pads wear out as a result of friction against your wheels. You shouldn’t hear them as you slow down, but if you’re hearing a screeching, it’s time for a replacement.

  • Brake rotors deal with the strain and heat of your tires slowing down and applying the pressure to the brake pads. They need to be upkept of the whole system will just not be as effective.

  • Coolant is important at all times of the year, not just during the heat of summer. Over time, it can leak, evaporate, and just not be as effective at balancing temperature in the engine. By the time you get to 60,000 miles, you should be replacing your coolant.

  • If you notice rough transitions between gears when you drive, you need to get your transmission fluid looked at. If you don’t know how to check it yourself, get into a shop for a professional appraisal. Ignoring this problem can lead to permanent damage and an expensive repair. 

The 90s

Hoses, spark plugs, timing belts, and power steering fluid all fall into this grouping. These parts usually last a good long time, but nothing lasts forever. 

  • Hoses made of rubber wear out over time. They transport coolant and other fluids to the necessary components of your vehicle. If you have a leak in a hose, you’ll know pretty quickly as the problems caused (overheating, hard steering) are pretty noticeable. 

  • Spark plugs can last a good long while if you get the right kind. When you see a check engine light pop up, there might be an issue with your spark plugs. This diagnosis usually requires a mechanic with a specific computer system.

  • If your vehicle uses a timing belt, this should be taken care of before hitting 90,000 miles. If you leave your belt for too long, it could break and cause terrible problems for you and your vehicle. 

  • Power steering is a wonder that allows for smooth control without much effort. When you feel your wheel get significantly harder to turn, you may have an issue with your power steering fluid. By the time you hit 75,000, you should be getting this checked to head off any unexpected difficulty in the future.

Categories: Service